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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

D3
Michael Myers, Photographer, Student/Intern
Miami Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 10:20 PM on 03.03.08
->> After being here for many years, I've decided that many people here know far more about digital than I do. Not that many years back, I didn't know what a "pixel" was, but I did know that I wanted to trade in my film for computer media.

I never could afford the early digital cameras. I watched them drop from $40,000 to $4,000 or so, but never could make the move until the D2h came out at $3200. While I had lots of problems with that D2h, Nikon kept replacing it/them, until I got something that worked reliably. I ended up with a negative taste for the D2h, but nothing but the highest regard for Nikon. Eventually they got me a D2x that did everything I wanted, with zero problems. I asked them for a "demo" camera, that they had already been using for a while, so I'd have no problems. My new D2h (which turned into a D2hs) got replaced with a used D2x, and all was well.

I also went through a D70 (for backup) and then a D200 which replaced the D70 when I sold it. While the cameras worked wonderfully for most purposes, they were all rather limited for shooting radio control cars, which was my main objective. All the automated focusing technology could never keep up - so I reverted to manual focusing, catching a car where I knew it would eventually be, with all my settings done ahead of time.

The magazines I work for loved the results, but I doubt if they knew how much trouble it was to get them. If you don't know anything about radio control cars, think about trying to capture pictures of a dragonfly flying around near you, using auto-focus. It can't be done.


Then, the D3. This is the most amazing camera I've ever owned, period. It does what I want it to do so effortlessly and so easily, it's amazing. Even with my old Nikon lenses from 20 years ago, the focus is lightning fast, and spot-on! I've only had a week or so to work with it, but it does things I never could have done before. Even for pre-focusing on a spot where a car is eventually going to be, I can auto-focus on the ground, then wait for the car to reach that spot. My previous cameras (Nikon, Canon, whatever) never could do that - with me being only ten inches high of the ground, trying to focus on an asphalt surface fifteen feet away from me!!!

After being amazed by that trick, I lerned that I could use the auto-focus (using just the center sensor) to "lead" the car as it came at me, knowing that if the ground where the sensor was looking was sharp, so would the car be! I got shot after shot, all focused perfectly, in tracking focus - something I never could have done before.

I sometimes want to use a very high shutter speed, while not having the lens too far open as that limits my depth of field. This was impossible before, but now that I can get good images at ISO 3000 and higher, there's a whole new world of possibilities.

Along with all that, there's the wonderful feeling of being able to use my lenss the way they were intended to be used. I've got a 14mm Sigma, that just is a mediocre (and very heavy) wide angle view on a small sensor, but on the D3 it's giving me all the results I originally wanted it to do. I really hate the 1.5 magnifaction factor for the lenses used on a small sensor. After a lifetime of shooting, I "know" what I want to do with a 200mm lens. If I want more, I'd rather go buy a longer lens. I'm thrilled that the lenses now do what I've learned that they "should" do.

I also love the way Nikon's menus and controls are all so intuitive. I made a trip to Jakarta last year, and deliberately left my Nikon stuff behind, so I could use all the latest and greatest Canon gear my friend in Jakarta had. Probably a Canon shooter would feel the same way if he had to switch to Nikon for a while, but I really preferred the simple way of using the Nikon menus and controls to get what I wanted.

There's a difference between buying what you "need" and what you "want". I really didn't want to spend close to $5000 on a camera (knowing that in a few years it will be worth so much less) but the D3 (for me) is the biggest single leap forward in what I can do, since Nikon first introduced the D2h and I moved to it from my point-and-shoot Olympus cameras. I know I've got a lot of reading to do, but this camera has a way of becoming "part of you". Years ago, my photo instructors at the University of Michigan tried to tell me that the camera is just a tool - it's the pictures you get that count, not the camera. However, all tools are not created equally, and I'm rapidly learning how much more I can do now, than I ever could before.

I've learned a lot from some very, VERY smart people that hang out here. I don't always agree with people's opinions, but the technical information is first rate, and almost always very useful. This is a great place to go for feedback. Still, the best "feedback" I get is the images I get to see in my computer a few hours after taking them, and for the first time in my digital life, I've now got a camera that really does what *I* want it to do, in all kinds of situations I'd never have done so easily and so well in the past.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 11:52 PM on 03.03.08
->> hey mike, your check from nikon is in the mail. as walter would say.."big grin"...glad to see someone is happy with their equipment. it's refreshing after all the bitchin'
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Cliff Lawson, Photographer
Parker | CO | USA | Posted: 1:20 AM on 03.04.08
->> I have to agree...in spades! I shoot a lot of motorsports. Started with the D100, then D2H, D2X and now the D3. The D2H (I had a good one) and D2X were quite good, but as we all know, getting above ISO400 was a noise challenge. And AF, while good, would still miss more often than it should have. Now I can put on the 1.4 or 1.7TC, add a polarizer, bump the ISO to 500 or 640, and have virtually zero noise and out of over 1000 images at last Saturday's event, I had NO OOF images. Not one. Using the Dynamic AF 21 points seems to be hard to fool.

This is truly Nikon's best ever. No, not 100% perfect - the 3D 51 point AF does some strange things - I probably need to learn just what application works best for that.
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Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Somerville | NJ | USA | Posted: 1:27 AM on 03.04.08
->> It is an amazing camera isn't it?

I'm doing handheld nighttime ISO6400 HDR bursts with it and they look like ISO 100 from camera from just a couple of cycles ago.

But still, part of me truly misses the old 1.7MP Kodak hybrids :)
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Tom Sperduto, Photographer
Edison | NJ | USA | Posted: 6:48 AM on 03.04.08
->> I agree also. The D3 has just simply amazed me. The high ISO is mind blowing. The color is sensational.
Full frame for me is the way to go. I picked up the 14-24 and 24-70 and paired with this camera I am in heaven.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 8:06 AM on 03.04.08
->> As tickled as I am with my D300, I can only imagine how much fun you guys are having with your D3's!!!
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 8:35 AM on 03.04.08
->> But wait, the D4 is only a few years away, but then I'll probably settle on the D400.

Sigh.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 9:40 AM on 03.04.08
->> As a fellow Sportsshooter pointed out to me - within three years, the technology that makes this such a incredible camera will have worked its way down to consumer equipment. That's the bad news.

The good news is Nikon will have found something else. And, by the way, there's our skills as photographers. We all need to keep improving, because the technology makes it easier and easier for anyone to get better images.

I swore after switching to Canon from Nikon I wouldn't switch back because of the hassle. The D3 made me switch, and even with all the hassle of switching both times, being able to skip hauling strobes into HS gyms alone makes this one incredible camera.ISO 6400? Just frigging unbelievable.

Not me Walter, I'll want a D4 and D400 .(grin)
Michael
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Eric Francis, Photographer
Omaha | NE | United States | Posted: 10:10 AM on 03.04.08
->> Glad you nikon shooters finally have a camera you're happy with........ took long enough to catch up........ welcome to the party.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 10:13 AM on 03.04.08
->> when do you all think that the D3 will be readily available in stores..such as you can walk in and buy one? I was asked this by a photographer yesterday and had noi clue..anyone?
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Vasiliy Baziuk, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 1:00 PM on 03.04.08
->> Michael, I normally obstaine from reading essays like that above, but that's a one passionate post you put up! did you shed a tear as you were writing it? But joking aside, I just got my first brand new camera a D300 for my freelance work and I love it!!!!!! I have only used it for one assignment for work to test it out and I love the results! For almost 3 1/2 years I have been shooting with my work camera D1H and to use a brand new 12.3 meg. camera is a totally different experience.... for starters the brand new camera smell is great, lol, the focus seems to work better on the 70-200mm, the contrast is really good, the colors are fantastic, and the post production is a joy to do! At this point what I love the most is that I can crop the original photo size it to the largest size we can run in the paper without enlarging the cropped photo.... no extrapolation. There are a bunch of other features that I can go on, and on but that is the main one I like the most. Thanx for the post!
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Greg Smith, Photographer
St. Paul | MN | US | Posted: 1:00 PM on 03.04.08
->> I was in a shop in Minneapolis yesterday - they have several. Availability didn't seem to be an issue.
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Eric Francis, Photographer
Omaha | NE | United States | Posted: 1:17 PM on 03.04.08
->> our local store has no less than 3 on the shelf and is having no problem stocking them.
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Thread Title: D3
Thread Started By: Michael Myers
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